Amidst living in squalor and facing spoils of a decade of civil war, there is good news for the Libyan population that feels more prepared to challenge the Coronavirus led pandemic.
Through the use of a telehealth platform, Libya can now triage its coronavirus patients. Developed by Libyan doctor-turned-tech-CEO Mohamed Aburawi, the technology is helping make the social distancing policy most effective.
Developed in 2016, the telehealth platform is called Speetar. It was invented by Aburawi with the intent of creating a link between health professionals in the diaspora with patients in their home regions.
Aburawi was one of those fortunate some won scholarships and could venture out of these war laden regions to educate themselves. Aburawi went to the US to study at Havard University post which he remained there and practiced medicine. While staying abroad, he understood the heart of doctors living outside their countries of origin. While all of them wanted to reach out to help the sick and suffering back home, going and coming back had become a logistical uncertainty and a political nightmare. Through the application, this linkage became possible.
Currently, Libya is being used as a pilot project. But he is sure that the technology has the potential to be used in other countries as well. The best part about the platform is that it makes social distancing effective while ensuring that civilians get timely medical aid and support.
In medical terms, triage is the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses. This helps to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties. For coronavirus infections, this is a huge help, because the exposure to the virus, till the time a person starts showing symptoms could be a long wait of up to two weeks.
Libya has been devastated by a decade of civil war, reducing its medical facilities to levels of non-existence. With the air transport option being closed, the meager UN-led help has also become scarce to the surviving population. Cases in the Middle East have risen rather later than the other countries. But the chances of widespread infection cannot be ruled down, in the midst of a shortage of medical aid and equipment.
While cases have not started climbing two digits, the fact that Libya is in close proximity to Egypt, a largely infected African country, creates a sense of unrest for medical professionals. The Speetar platform can act as a huge asset to help people assess themselves and take corrective action. An agreement has been signed with the Libyan health authorities, making Speetar the main platform between the government and citizens in regard to COVID-19.
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